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DESIGNERS OF THE MONTH - Ronan and Erwan bouroullec

French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, born 1971 and 1976, respectively, studied at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Cergy-Pontoise.

The brothers have enjoyed a fruitful working relationship since 1999 when they opened their own Paris-based design studio and won the coveted “Best New Designer” award at ICFF, New York . Their work in the design and organisation of interior space led to one of their most unconventional designs, the celebrated Vitra Algue. Made from injected moulded plastic, Algue is reminiscent of plants and can be linked together to form a weblike texture - from light curtains and wall decor to opaque, thick room dividers.


The pair credit designers from the past with giving them a solid foundation for their work. "To me, contemporary design stands atop two massive columns: one was created by the American designers like Eames who was so innovative in the 40s and 50s and whose use of technology made such an incredible impact" says Erwan. "And the other column is made up of the Italian designers of the 70s and 80s who created a whole new typology for modern living".

Since opening our online store in 2004, we’ve been proud suppliers of many great Bouroullec designs for major brands such as Vitra, Magis, Kartell, Cappellini, Flos and Hay. Among these is the award winning Kartell Vegetal Chair for which the Bouroullec’s won the 2009 Award for Outdoor Furniture award.

The award nominated Steelwood collection for Italian design brand Magis saw the Bouroullec brothers aim to find an affordable alternative to plastic seating, which dominated the European seating market at the time. Explaining their goal for the range, Ronan Bouroullec said that they “wanted something that would appeal to everyone— men, women, rich, poor—one that would say to people, (one that would say) 'I am a well-constructed, beautiful object, one that will last a long time, and will grow old quite nicely with you.' Not just something they use”. With the series being a resounding success, we are proud suppliers of the Steelwood chair, stool, table, coat stand and shelving system.


Clearly inspired by the natural world around them, the Bouroullec brothers with their latest lighting solution for Flos Lighting have created a “lamp that is naturally positioned in space – like a plant”. Available here, the Flos Aim Suspension Light is a minimal lighting solution that creates a tangle of wires that produce a climbing plant effect. According to the design duo, “The general idea underpinning this project is to offer a lamp which can be infinitely adjusted to satisfy all needs”.


In 2012 the brothers were commissioned to create a range of furniture for the Faculty of Humanities at Københavns Universitet in Copenhagen, Denmark. The resultant Copenhague series is a beautiful blend of wooden tables, desks, chairs and stools designed with a nod to modern needs. The CPH90 desk has proven extremely popular among Utility customers and it’s easy to see why – it’s uncomplicated identity gives the desk the versatility to fit just as well in a home office as it does in a more commercial or educational interior.




Premio Compasso d'Oro ADI Award, Steelwood Chair, 2011
Designer of the Year Award for Now! Maison & Objet, Paris, 2011
Danish Design Award, Copenhagen, 2010
International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) Award for Outdoor Furniture, Vegetal Chair, 2009
Finn-Juhl Prize, Copenhagen, 2008
"Best of the Best" Red Dot Design Awards for the Worknest office and Facett collection, 2008, 2005 respectively
Designers of the Year, Salon du Meuble, 2002
New Designer Award, ICFF, New York, 1999
Grand Prix du Design, Paris, 1998


Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s furniture designs are available now to buy at www.utilitydesign.co.uk – Have you got a favourite?


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